Courtesy of WOKANDAPIX/Pixabay

Right now, students are voting on the most important item that funds campus activities at Emory University: the Student Activity Fee (SAF). As the Student Government Association (SGA) President for this past year, I encourage you to vote “YES” on increasing the SAF and “YES” on adjusting the SAF for inflation before voting closes on Thursday, March 28 at noon. This will make sure that we can fund our student organizations and create an engaging campus for all.

I understand the hesitation with Emory’s tuition already being so high, but voting “YES” makes sure that our tuition dollars are working for us and are controlled by students for our clubs and student life. SGA has confirmed that the Office of Financial Aid will cover this increase for the 61% of students who have financial need. For every other student, the $15 represents 0.05% of your tuition and fee bill. But the impact is enormous: a better club experience and more programs that put students front and center.

If you look at your tuition and fee bill, you’ll see a line for the SAF. SGA collects and distributes this money directly to student programs and organizations, independent of any administrator’s approval. It is student money in student hands for student outcomes: free concerts, new communities and student performances all for $116 a semester.

The $15 SAF increase — about the price of a Maru bowl and drink at Cox Hall — ensures that our clubs and their events are the heart of Emory in promoting student life. Voting “YES” builds our campus culture in the way we deserve and helps clubs across Oxford College, Goizueta Business School, the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing and the College of Arts and Sciences get the funding they need to organize great events.

Emory’s student organizations build our campus culture. These groups define how we get involved, build experiences and make incredible friends. But they’re in trouble: for the past five years, clubs have not gotten the money they need to get out on campus and create programs. That’s because the value of our SAF has fallen with recent inflation. If we don’t raise the SAF, we will have to cut funding for all of Emory’s clubs, charge students for concert tickets and prevent new clubs from forming.

The SAF referendum includes two questions:

“Should the student activity fee be raised by $15 for the 2025-2026 year to fund additional resources and opportunities for student involvement and organizations on campus? 

Should the student activity fee be adjusted annually based on inflation rates beginning in the 2026-2027 year to maintain its purchasing power?” 

In other words, the fee will increase by $15 one time to put us back where we should be and automatically adjust to ensure we do not fall behind inflation again. Check out our website for more information, including the full plan and financial information.

I encourage you to vote “YES” to build our campus culture and improve the Emory experience for years to come.

Khegan Meyers (24B) is from Tampa, Florida.

Managing Editor Ellie Fivas (24Ox) recused herself due to previous involvement with SGA and was not involved in writing or editing this opinion.

+ posts